Zuma suspends Cele, sacks ministers

2011-10-24 14:56

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma on Monday announced the suspension of police commissioner General Bheki Cele and the sacking of two Cabinet ministers.

He also announced the members of the board of the arms deal inquiry.

Sapa reported that Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde and Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka were axed.

Mahlangu-Nkabinde would be replaced by the deputy minister of rural development and land reform, Thulas Nxesi.

Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi would take up Shiceka's post, Zuma said in Pretoria.

  • lebaone - 2011-10-24 14:58

    These are interesting political times in South Africa

      Servaas - 2011-10-24 15:00

      Let me guess.. Suspended for 2 years with full pay? Typical ANC..

      Right - 2011-10-24 15:01

      ATTABOY! You go Umsholozi!

      Rolf - 2011-10-24 15:02

      Zuma is out to "shoot to kill"

      Servaas - 2011-10-24 15:04

      Eish.. Stomach in Chest out

      Yar - 2011-10-24 15:11

      Well done Mr President. Thank you. I am grateful.

      Reshan - 2011-10-24 15:17

      Interested to see what happens in the Malema hearing, to me looks like JZ cleaning house ahead of judgement

      Right - 2011-10-24 15:19

      Mr. President!...the one thing I have always admired about you is your calm, rational and unhurried approach to leadership. No oine steamrollers you. Hey Baba! As I said to you at the Presidents Golf Day...Hey Baba! Nkulukulu watches over you. Now for the matter of Malema : I am NO supporter of Malema...but the issue of Malema is not an easy one. If it unravels there will be BIG PROBLEMS for everyone in this country. Your BEST OPTION is to press the law agencies to prioritise the investigations. Malema is one damn good Politician and alot of "laager mentalities" don't seem to understand that. But if you Umsholozi can upseat Mbeki I would hope you can pull the rug from under Malema.

      Shadoz - 2011-10-24 15:25

      wonder if Zumzum is gonna fire himself we all know he is involved to. Shakes took a fall for him.

      Karoo - 2011-10-24 17:08

      Us Saffas are a very discontent lot, and it has become an epidemic. For valid reasons, including crime and mismanagement. But also because we have just becone mired in negativity. Nelson Mandela was our outstanding leader from 1994 to 1998, but many White Africans did not fully appreciate his wise governance until the next generation of ANC leaders took over the reigns of government. I hope I will be proved wrong, but I feel there is a very reasonable chance that soon we will be longing back to the days of Mbeki and Zuma. Criticize our government when appropriate, but in a constructive way. And appreciate and acknowledge steps in the right direction, even when it is baby steps. If the only thing we lobby at the ANC is bitter destructive criticism, why would the ANC care a hoot about us essentially disenfranchised White Africans?

      adrien.mcguire - 2011-10-24 17:30

      So, is this about leadership and doing the right thing or is it about timely political positioning?

  • adrian.berghoff - 2011-10-24 15:00

    Jacob, the issue of Malema is slightly more pressing at this stage. While I applaud you for this step, you need to get your priorities in order.

      Grant - 2011-10-24 15:06

      I agree, its time he did something about that Maaifoedie!!!

      Right - 2011-10-24 15:08

      I am NO supporter of Malema...but the issue of Malema is not an easy one. If it unravels there will be BIG PROBLEMS for everyone in this country. His BEST OPTION is to press the law agencies to prioritise the investigations. Malema is one damn good Politician and alot of "laager mentalities" don't seem to understand that. But if Umsholozi can beat Mbeki I would hope he can pull the rug from under Malema.

      adrian.berghoff - 2011-10-24 15:19

      @Right: I fully agree, he is a thorny problem indeed... but sweeping it under the rug like he has been doing is not going to solve it. We can all hope that he eventually shoots himself in the foot, but relying on that is dangerous.

      Daniel - 2011-10-24 15:22

      So finally JZ acts !! One can only but wonder about the timing of this matter, in the same week as the Malema debacle, and the planned mass protests. A bit of advice from a nobody JZ, Rome is !!

      Right - 2011-10-24 15:53

      @adrian...he is not sweeping under the carpet. You have no idea what is at stake here. He has NO CHOICE....he has to if he does not Malema is going to bite him and he will most definitely lose at the ANC Conference next year. He has to go about it with outmost any wrong Chess moves now will surely cost him.

      Joseph - 2011-10-24 23:11

      The Malema issue will suprise many.Malema is not biger than the ANC and the ANC is not Malema.For the first time the leadership of the ANC will not be decided by the ANCYL and the powers will rest with the ANC itself.To all those who rally behind Malema for possible leadership position next year will be suprised when left in the cold with mud on their face.

  • Victor - 2011-10-24 15:00

    Mr. Zuma finally decides to pull his head out of the sand. There's hope after all.

      Lionel - 2011-10-24 15:04

      We also believe there is hope. Transparency in government is critical though. That is why we created Mobilitate for all of South Africa. Join us!

      pat.bromilowdowning - 2011-10-24 15:13

      That's not the only place his head has been buried for the past couple of years.

      Levett - 2011-10-24 17:58

      No stolen money has yet been recovered, no corrupt official is yet in jail. Let's first see results before we pop champaigne and through streamers like the mamparra BananaBanana soccer team.

  • Sidima - 2011-10-24 15:00

    Finally a show of balls

      clinton.bowden1 - 2011-10-24 15:10

      I think 5 wives and 20+ kids later this was already a show of balls. This can only be an early indications of a spine.

      Quinton - 2011-10-24 15:15

      Yuck!!!!! What a vile thought. Who want's to see his balls??

  • Mike - 2011-10-24 15:00

    It's succession time and this is when Zuma wakes up...wants another term!

      Judith - 2011-10-24 18:41

      I remember when he said, "just give me one term, I just want one term" does anyone else remember that?

  • phumlanii - 2011-10-24 15:00

    It's about time. Finally the president is the president.

      msendi - 2011-10-24 15:14

      President is not our boy whose responsibility is to sack those we hate or do what we like. He need to be very careful when taking decisions…

      Cheryl - 2011-10-25 15:46

      @msendi This is where all you billions and billions of people are wrong. he is our 'boy' or 'man' if u like. he is our (and your ) PUBLIC SERVANT. Every single MP is our (and your) public servant. They are not kings and queens! Every thing they do must be in the interest of u and me....YOU AND I ARE PAYING THEIR SALARIES THRU TAXES...dont u guys get it???

  • Shane - 2011-10-24 15:01

    No doubt Cele is suspended with full pay and in a few years time someone my be reporting on the millions he has been paid to sit at home and do nothing!!!

  • Theresa - 2011-10-24 15:01

    Ok, he suspended what? The cushy job in Canada?

  • francie.potgieter - 2011-10-24 15:01

    Yes I suppose with full pay that we as taxpayers will need to pay again. Wonder when he will be leaving for Canada.

  • Moss - 2011-10-24 15:02

    Should have started with his own head!!

  • Silvana - 2011-10-24 15:02

    Thuli madonsela has put some fire under his a*se. You've got to love that woman. At last something is happening. Problem is for how long is Cele going to be suspended with full pay? Seems to be the soft approach in these kind of matters. What's happening about Mhalangu?

      Musa - 2011-10-24 15:13

      Who is Mhalangu?

  • nboasfifi - 2011-10-24 15:02

    its good that Zuma is showing leadership pls lock Malema in jail n throw away the keys

  • Jacques - 2011-10-24 15:03

    Decisive action by our president? CAN IT BE?!

  • Lionel - 2011-10-24 15:03

    Mobilitate thanks Zuma for taking action against corruption. Much action is still needed to make SA great. Join us on!

  • Derk - 2011-10-24 15:03

    how about the rest of your pals

  • DrCyanide - 2011-10-24 15:03

    wait wait.. what? Zuma now decides to grow some balls? (ironic I know) Something is afoot and it ain't a shoe.

  • Bonokwakhe - 2011-10-24 15:03

    Thank you Mr President you have shown us that you have a couple of balls. Now remove Malema bcos he is a serious threat to the country and its people. How can he(Malema) stage a march during exam times, that shows that he doesn't care about the youth of this country. Well done!

  • George - 2011-10-24 15:04

    Zuma is the most decisive president we have had since the dawn of democracy. Mbeki never reshuffled his cabinet, not once despite the corruption and maladministration. Zuma has set up an equiry over the arms deal, released the Donnen report, suspended Cele and fired over five cabinet ministers since taking office. At least he is doing something decisive. He also seems to listen to the public protrector thus strenghens our chapter nine institutions.

      Lionel - 2011-10-24 15:08

      Hi George. It gladdens the heart when I see someone understanding that our laws and institutions are critical to a prosperous SA for all. You will probably like what I have created in Mobilitate. Keen to hear what you think.

      Mike - 2011-10-24 15:11

      Please George he wants another term, all this could have been done throughout his presidency. Don't you see why he released the oilgate reports only now, to discredit Tokyo and Mothlante... It's just regular power struggle bs

      Right - 2011-10-24 16:36

      @Mike...stop paying too much attention to the media Mike. The report does not in any way discredit Sexwale and Mothlante...wait and see.

  • Clarissa - 2011-10-24 15:04

    NOw for him to be an Ambassador!!!! Free for all!

  • Dean - 2011-10-24 15:04

    Give that man a bells !!!

  • Sharon - 2011-10-24 15:04


  • Michael - 2011-10-24 15:05

    Fantastic news and a HUGE finger to all the nay sayers who say that the government is not serious about dealing with corruption.

  • Ann - 2011-10-24 15:05

    Not enough news News24 - Those sacked are Nkabinda and Sicheka. However it is a step in the right direction. Now what is happening to Julius Malema - Stop playing and take some serious action against him before he destroys this country!

      Silvana - 2011-10-24 15:11

      If what you say is true Ann, and I sincerely hope it is, then somthing sinister is afoot. this is totally out of character for Showerhead.

  • Kagiso - 2011-10-24 15:05

    This is speculation, will only believe when I see an official statement.

  • Gcwabe.KaMavovo - 2011-10-24 15:06

    So who are the Cabinet ministers? Shiceka and Mahlangu-Nkabinde?

  • Michael - 2011-10-24 15:06

    Well "General", that'll teach you and your two mates not to hand over the presidential handling fee.

  • mr.louis.nel - 2011-10-24 15:06

    Our President is playing his other cards in order to take the heat off himself and his cronies. Just buying some more time.

  • Derk - 2011-10-24 15:06

    Zuma is just trying to get brownie points

  • Tsheko - 2011-10-24 15:06

    people will always complain, personally i think JZ is the most proactive president South Africa has ever had preiod.

      francie.potgieter - 2011-10-24 15:11

      If he was more in the country he would even be more proactive and fire the lot of ministers, but alas his not.

      Simon - 2011-10-24 15:24

      @francie You represent everything wrong with South Africans. People like you are nauseating. You do not want to see/hear anything positive coming out of this country. Throwing statements like "if he was more in the country...". if you were to unpack that statement and stand infront of a bunch of 6 year olds and try and justify why ministers are not fired, do you think you can hold your own? Did you think about it before you typed or are you going to start thinking about what you just typed now? Has he spent most of his time out of the country? Is that a fact? Is there a corelation between time spent in the country and firing of underperforming ministers? You are the lot who miss the good old days. Get off your high horse and start making a difference for this country.

      Tsheko - 2011-10-24 16:09

      thank you Simon, its people like francie that makes SA look like it is not progressing.

      DuToitCoetzee - 2011-10-24 16:11

      @Simon. I think you read too much into what Francie said. I am not saying I am supporting her view, but what I understood is that she said that she agrees that he acted proactive, but that he would have been more proactive if he is more in South Africa because she beliefs all the ministers should be fired. "Is there a corelation between time spent in the country and firing of underperforming ministers?" = Yes, there is!!!! They call it being more "hands on". I think you get carried away with your own view point that you want to express, but choose the wrong comment to do it against. You will find plenty comments who, according to you, may miss the "old days" O yes, sorry mine will not do. I prefer these days. If we can only get rid of a couple of "issues". I am glad he took action and while on a role he must "clean house". Us, the citizens, deserve it and SA needs it. Good begin Mr. President. Keep them coming!!!!!!!

      Simon - 2011-10-24 16:39

      @DuToit I beg to differ my friend. Yes you are correct, I probabaly pushed my view point a bit too far, out of frustration I guess. But do not even begin to try and establish a corelation between a president being around and ministers performing. That is at the very best far fetched. How do you define "being around" or in her words "more in the country"? Can she categorically state these figures? How many times has he left the country? It was just a knee jerk reaction, typical of what happens here. Do you, in your honest opinion it is a point worth bringing up in this context. Even it had an outside chance of being true. Is there a difference between Zuma being in PTA and Uzbekistan? This is not a call centre where your boss is hovering around, LOL. It was a comment made in bad taste and it was totally out of context.

      Tsheko - 2011-10-24 16:41

      in your workplace do they just fire people, the answear is no cause they have to follow protocol. same applies for the president. Fact is he had to wait for more information to make the final decision thus the later response. Travilling = more trading partners for SA its just a busineess thing has been practiced for years.

      Lanfear - 2011-10-25 08:24

      Fully agreed both Simon and Tsheko! The world doesn't stop at the borders of SA, the world is becoming smaller and more inter-connected, economies depend on international trade. Look at other countries' presidents and premiers, they are just as often, if not more often, abroad as Zuma. I am also sick and tired of people who find it impossible to say or do anything positive about or for SA. As to everyone complaining about Cele being suspended with full pay. Why doesn't anybody seem to understand that the proper labour law procedures must be followed? How can we harp about the rule of law and then not follow it? He must be suspended with full pay, pending the outcome of the investigation, otherwise Cele can sue the government in turn for unlawful labour practice. Especially with such a high profile case, the prosecutors must make sure that their arses are covered!

  • nomty.mthombeni - 2011-10-24 15:07

    Tjoh ,mhhh .... Cele suspended!!!

  • Mandla - 2011-10-24 15:08

    Almost got excited there then I realised it's only suspension. The old ANC holiday trick!

      Lionel - 2011-10-24 15:11

      It's gonna take pressure from the media and directly from citizens on platforms such as Mobilitate to ensure government follows through. Join us !

      Marion - 2011-10-25 08:27

      Ministers serve at the pleasure of the president. The Police Commissioner is an employee with a contract and therefore normal labour / legal practices have to be followed as far as I know. Every employee who is going to be disciplined will be suspended with full pay pending the outcome of the disciplinary enquiry unless they have committed certain offences where instant dismissal is acceptable.

  • tumelo.mokupo - 2011-10-24 15:08

    I respect our president, he knows how to politic and his decisions are well informed with polite manner. Amandla, JZ, you have done it before and once again. You are they only leader, which have balls to take such decisions with relaxed mind. Ayoba, JZ

  • Gareth - 2011-10-24 15:08

    I see someone grew some balls......

  • benedictkelly - 2011-10-24 15:10

    Suspended on full pay until his contract comes to an end and then replaced.

      Silvana - 2011-10-24 15:19

      You're forgetting about the performance bonus he'll get.

  • suzan.legodi - 2011-10-24 15:10

    President Jacob Zuma showed that he is a true leader by firing the two ministers as the country cannot afford to have corrupt officials. Why South Africa is having so many corrupt officials. We dont know who to trust anymore. Where are we taking the country? Cele must learn from the mistake he did becouse next time he wont bilieve his luck. This is not his country but our country, he must also consider us as the citizens of this country and whatever he does we as the nation must be aware the situation. From: Jack Selolo, Mahwelereng

  • Peter - 2011-10-24 15:11

    Ha somebody woken up at last

  • Andre - 2011-10-24 15:11

    This is what we all wanted to see, but why taking so long to act?

  • Had - 2011-10-24 15:11

    Well JZ has got B$$$s after all. I was starting to doubt those stories about him fathering so many kids.

      Gcwabe.KaMavovo - 2011-10-24 15:15


  • kabelo.leballo - 2011-10-24 15:13


  • THABOM85 - 2011-10-24 15:14

    This is not decisive action! There are findings by the public protector on Cele, then what else is required to fire the man? My guess is his Canadian visa is not yet ready.

  • cosmos.ndebele - 2011-10-24 15:14

    People just gve credit were its due, Zuma is showing he has balls here. General should have been sacked too that lease debacle was just too much for the country.

  • - 2011-10-24 15:14

    Leopards dont change their spots.

  • Simon - 2011-10-24 15:14

    Ungrateful, indecisive pessimists. That just sums up most news 24 readers. When will this government and especially the president ever do right. We are quick to jump onto the Zuma led ANC at every slight opportunity we get. If we are not supporting the British media when they are saying all foreigners will be slaughtered at arrival for the World Cup, we are blaming Malema for the death of the joggers on Saturday night. Insert anything gloomy................ The man has done the right thing and fired/suspended these people. What more should he do? Bring back the death sentence for them? The problem with most people on this site is that you have preconceived ideas of how things should be. There is a significant difference between running a home and a country. You come here and cry about tax payers money what what when you should actually be glad that you earn enough to be taxed. What have you done lately for this country outside your home? Most of you spend your time busy moaning with fellow lose24 doomsayers insteadd of doing some introspection. Thank you Mr president for doing the right thing. Hope this sends out a strong message to other corrupt individuals in the government. Some here were actually hoping he doesnt do anything so they continue moaning. They are quite disaapointed because it has taken away thee one other thing they can moan about. Now I cant link the satanic related murders to Zuma, aahh well, lets blame it on the Dalai Lama or is Malema?

      Mike - 2011-10-24 15:25

      Simon believe me I am pleased he has finally acted but he is a shrewd politition, which of course you need to be to survive. Do yourself a favour and read what political analysts are commenting about the succession battle. He is about to be ousted it appears, so it could be case of too little too late. Why is he only suspending Cele, their is a good article by Kane Berman on how the power struggle works in the ANC and moreover , who is who in the battle

      Silvana - 2011-10-24 15:27

      I don't think anyone disagrees that the president didn't do the right thing. What is being criticised is the amount of time it took him to come to that decision. By now the Cele issue should have been concluded. IOW he should have been suspended ages ago and reinstated or fired depending on the outcome.One also need to wonder if he would have taken these steps if it wasn't for Thuli Madonsela. Don't be too harsh on the readers.

      Simon - 2011-10-24 15:38

      @Mike and Silvana Thank you for the objective comments, round about now it ususally deteriorates into name calling etc. In a perfect world, Cele and the other ministers should have resigned without the need for all this. We are not there yet. So outside the resignations, the next best thing would be to fire/suspend them. Timing being everything. We also conviniently forget that these are politicians we are dealing with. Succesion battles, personal friendships, media perception, voter perception, opposition perception etc. You need to manage those well and manage them at a weighted average. The opposition and its supporters will not add a lot of value in the succession battle, neither will the media coverage of this issue. Cele seems like he has a lot to add in the long term. Zuma knew they had to go and the question was when and how. Cele has know for months now that he is getting suspended. You need to play the game and play it well. @Silvana.Is Madonsela not a Zuma elected minister? She is just doing her job. He is shrewd, smart and he knows how to do enough to keep everyone content. That is what politics is about. Characters on news 24 are insignificant to him, literally. Here you come to moan with your fellow pawns in this chess game called politics, African politics. Nothing surprsing here, I knew it would happen. All the people who are important are content. Dont fire Cele, suspend him.

      Michael - 2011-10-24 21:06

      “Ungrateful, indecisive pessimists” – goodness me Simon, you generalize so - is that a professional observation or a cunningly concealed exercise in self indulgence? Deterioration into name calling is not my intention here and if you will forgive cliché, some of us pessimists prefer to face reality head on rather than expose ourselves to rectal abuse while playing ostrich. The suspension and sacking of corrupt officials would be a watershed moment in the politics of any country and I hope it will prove to be so in ours however, objectivity should prevail thus, when the strains of Kumbaya have faded from your hearing, you and all the others rejoicing here need to consider why – why would someone possessing little or no ethical capital have a change of heart so epiphanic as to feed his brothers to the wolves? Had these terminations of service come by the hand of an upright, moral and honourable person I would have been the first to take heart and applaud. That Mr Zuma is the cause and is now elevated by you and others here to “Champion of all things good” is an indictment on your intelligence.

      Lanfear - 2011-10-25 08:33

      @ Michael - well that is the age-old philosophical question. Does it matter what the intentions are if the consequences of the action are favourable? Does *why* Zuma acted matter as much as that he *did* act? And Simon is quite correct. Zuma is first and foremost a politician. Oh I am sure you can look around the world and maybe find one of them that will not put self-interest first. Those of us not spewing poison, are not *rejoicing* as you put it, but are glad for every good decision made, especially since there are still far to few of them. I am also tired of those that always and ever see only the negative. And FYI, contrary to popular belief, pessimism and realism is NOT the same thing.

      Marion - 2011-10-25 08:40

      The last person I ever wanted as president was Jacob Zuma. But we got him, no doubt due to the support of the same ANCYL that now wants to dethrone him. However, in spite of his many failings I think President Zuma has been doing a much better job than Thabo Mbeki. Someone said Zuma is out of the country too much. Mbeki seemed never to be in the country. He was largely an absent president in my opinion. When JZ is in SA he is very visible at grass roots level. I am sure that there were many more investigations, legal opinions etc., than we can even begin to be aware of before these ministers were fired and suspending Cele was the only thing he could do without absolute proof that he took bribes or something similar to sign those leases. If it comes out that he did he must be dismissed immediately. That said, I think Cele has done quite a good job so far and is a highly visible police commissioner, even if he puts his foot in his mouth occasionally. But then, doesn't everybody? If I have to choose between Zuma and Sexwale, I choose Zuma. Tokyo never even had the b***s to choose between two candidates in a reality tv show and yet they could never have been absolutely equal in everything.

  • Frederik - 2011-10-24 15:15

    so maybe the job in Canada will still happen, as an Ambassador he should not screw up, but than again......?

  • Ian - 2011-10-24 15:16

    Any chance Julius will be next?

  • Alva - 2011-10-24 15:16

    At last, some action! Hopefully more corrupt officials to follow!

  • Nic - 2011-10-24 15:17

    Why only suspend, he must be prosecuted. What they did was nothing but theft

  • Laetitia - 2011-10-24 15:19

    WOW... ONE up for the president!!!!!!!!

  • eskhonkosini.skhokho - 2011-10-24 15:21

    Indeed interesting, boers are going to have a field day.

  • snyalungu - 2011-10-24 15:21

    with full pay I guess